Maari, Kupe steaming ahead

THE Maari wellhead platform has been loaded onto the Dockwise Blue Marlin heavy lift vessel in Lumut, Malaysia, and should arrive at the offshore Taranaki, New Zealand field next month.

OMV Maari asset manager Wolfgang Leeb told the 2008 New Zealand Petroleum Conference in Auckland this morning the conversion of the Maari floating production, storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel Raroa in Singapore was now complete and commissioning had started . The FPSO is due to arrive once Maari development drilling starts later this year.

The FPSO has a production capacity of 40,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 590,000 barrels.

Leeb also said the specialist installation/dive support vessel Toisa Proteus had installed the mooring system for the 147m-high, 10,000 tonne wellhead platform (WHP), about 50km off the south Taranaki coast.

The project involved eight mooring piles 2m in diameter and 26m long. There were also two mooring piles for the mid-water arch that will guide flowlines from the WHP to the Raroa.

Leeb said Maari production drilling was due to start as soon as Kupe operator Origin Energy had finished with the jack-up Ensco Rig 107.

The 107 will drill five Maari production wells, with horizontal sections up to 2000m long, as well as three water injection wells.

That drilling should be completed by first quarter 2009 and the rig would then drill an exploration well into the nearby Manaia prospect within the Maari mining licence.

Meanwhile, Origin Energy Kupe project director Peter Ashford told the conference that the offshore phase for that project should be completed by mid-April.

The Ensco 107 rig is batch drilling the three Kupe development wells, followed by Momoho-1 and a sidetrack well into different parts of the nearby Momoho prospect.

It has drilled into the productive reservoir with the first of the three wells, confirming the presence of hydrocarbons, and is about to do the same with the second well.

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